10 Interesting Facts About Maureen O’Hara
As she celebrates her 95th birthday (August 19th), we want to share 10 Interesting Facts about Maureen O’Hara, an actress that western fans fondly remember for her co-starring roles with John Wayne.
1. Her birth name is Maureen FitzSimmons. She was given the stage name Maureen O’Hara by Charles Laughton who discovered her in Ireland and brought her to the United States. He thought that a shorter name would be better for her acting career, especially since it would fit easier on movie marquees at the time.
2. Because of her fiery red hair and beautiful green eyes, she became known in Hollywood as the “Queen of Technicolor.”3. Maureen O’Hara co-starred in five movies with John Wayne and three of them were westerns. The first movie that she co-starred in with John Wayne was the western movie Rio Grande (1950). The names of the other four movies with John Wayne are: The Quiet Man (1952), The Wings of Eagles (1957), McLintock! (1963) and Big Jake (1971).
4. In all three of the western movies that Maureen O’Hara ever made with John Wayne, she plays his wife who is estranged from him for one reason or another.
5. Her on-screen chemistry with John Wayne was so real to audiences that people wondered if she and John Wayne were also romantically involved off-screen. O’Hara and Wayne always talked about their good friendship and denied any romantic involvement with each other.
6. A bronze statue of Maureen O’Hara and John Wayne is on display in Cong, Ireland. The movie “The Quiet Man” was primarily filmed at this location and the statue pays tribute to their popular roles in this film. The statue was unveiled in October, 2013.
7. Even though she had a career spanning decades and performed in over 60 movies and television programs, Maureen O’Hara was never nominated for an Academy Award.
8. O’Hara finally received an Honorary Academy Award in 2014 when she was 94 years old. Western film great Clint Eastwood introduced and presented the award to her. The other presenter was another fellow Irish actor, Liam Neeson.
9. Maureen O’Hara was married three times. Her third husband, Brigadier General Charles F. Blair, was an aviator who is credited with making the first solo flight over the North Pole. He founded an airline in the Virgin Islands name Antilles Air Boats. Unfortunately, Blair was tragically killed in a plane crash and after he died, Maureen O’Hara became president of the company and managed its operations until 1981 when she sold it.
10. In 2004 at the age of 84 years old, Maureen O’Hara (with her collaborator Nicolleti) released an autobiography about her life and her experiences in Hollywood. The book is named “Tis Herself: An Autobiography” book by Maureen O’Hara and was a New York Times Bestseller.
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